Harvard University released video of this unnerving soft robot that can move untethered through punishing conditions, including snow and fire, yet will remain resilient. It looks a bit like reanimated sliced SPAM in the time-lapse crawling footage, and like SPAM, it retains its shape even when its appendages are run over by a car.
Research Associate Mark Tolley at Harvard's Wyss Institute says they are "very robust to many specific challenges a robot might face." He says they plan to make some upgrades soon, the first of which should probably be to use a different color for the silicone rubber material.
• A Resilient, Untethered Soft Robot (academic paper)
• Cutting the cord on soft robots (via Harvard)
below: Mike Tolley demonstrates the resilient, untethered soft robot